Transformational Leadership Embraces Innovation

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In the 21st century, we understand that political and business leaders in the East and the West face different challenges. For example, there is still slow economic recovery and a strong demand for job creation and social stability in the West, while in the East the need is for the delivery of economic and environmental sustainability. Our philosophy is that transformational leadership is that which embraces innovation, and can bring about strategic change that delivers growth, effectiveness and sustainability. This approach in turn expands the capacity of individuals to perform in leadership roles within institutions. Leadership roles are those that translate the vision and mission of the organisation into deliverable and measurable objectives and goals, develop and implement corporate strategy and facilitate the execution of an organisation’s strategy by

  • building alignment
  • winning minds by sharing the vision of the organisation and
  • expanding the capabilities of others

Leaders have to understand that in general people like to be led, not managed.

A transformational leader is a facilitator who manages change by encouraging people to a higher level of motivation, engagement, empowerment and morality. The process of transformational leadership aims at delivering changes through influencing people in attitudes, behaviour and assumptions held by staff and employees, as well as building alignment and commitment for the achievement of organisational goals and objectives. Traditionally, leadership development has focused on bringing out the leadership abilities and attitudes of individuals. However, we aim to do things differently. We acknowledge that different personal traits and characteristics can help or hinder a person’s leadership effectiveness, and then encourage these leaders to break their shackles with innovative insights.  This can help inspire people’s critical thinking, discover their own ability to problem solve and reveal their individual strengths.

“China Embracing Innovation” (more about this in a later blog post) is a strategic model of the wise who are seeking common development, sharing resources and win-win solutions. It is social innovation with strong features and characteristics. It refers to a novel and innovative solution to a complicated problem. The solution is more distinctive, equitable and sustainable than the existing approach. At the same time, it creates value for the benefit of society and/or organisation as a whole. The essential elements, also regarded as the four pillars of the innovation, are:

  1.  embracing contradictions
  2.  moving with the times
  3.  seeking common ground while maintaining differences, and
  4.  creating harmony and tolerance. These four pillars support and complement each other.

At organisational level, transformational leadership with an innovative approach enables established leaders and managers to find their natural authority; it broadens horizons and helps with the development of skills for collaboration, strategic management and change management; and enhances awareness of the challenges and opportunities of globalisation and sustainability. We believe that is essential for leaders to develop resilience, sensitivity, awareness, integration and development of west and east management, theories and philosophy that enable them to become a responsible leader and fully fledged global competitor.

by Prof Richard Li-Hua

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